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Last updated on 13 May 2019
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As part of the new Ofsted framework, you should be able to articulate your curriculum intent. Learn what this is and how to explain yours.

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  1. Identify your intent

This article is for you if:

  • You have a curriculum you like and that works for your pupils
  • You haven't defined/articulated your curriculum intent before

If you think your curriculum needs redevelopment, or aren't confident that your existing curriculum intent is fit for purpose, we've got more guidance coming for you in the coming weeks.

Identify your intent

How Ofsted defines curriculum 'intent'

As part of the proposed 2019 inspection framework, Ofsted will use a new 'quality of education' measure. This measure will take into account your educational intent.

Ofsted created a working definition for 'intent':

A framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage ...

Find that definition here, under 'Focusing on the curriculum'.

  • There's no such thing as a 'good', 'bad', or 'Ofsted-approved' curriculum intent (because this will depend on your school's context)
  • Intent is not a vision or mission statement. It's a specific plan of what you want pupils to know and to be able to do, at different stages and by the time they leave school. 

Read more about the 2019 inspection framework and what it means for your curriculum here.

Think about these questions to help you identify/articulate your intent

  • What are the objectives for your curriculum? What do you want pupils to be able to know and do by the time they leave? 
  • How does your curriculum plan set out the sequence and structure of how it's going to be implemented?
  • Why is it shaped the way it is? What values have guided your decisions about the curriculum you have in place? How does your curriculum reflect your school's context?
  • To what extent have you made these objectives clear? Does everybody know them?
  • How does your curriculum reflect national policy (for example, British values and PSHE)?
  • How does it cater for disadvantaged and minority groups? Make sure these pupils aren't 'shut out' of pursuing subjects they wish to study because of too sharp a focus on exam results

These questions are taken from our article on the 2019 Ofsted inspection framework, which you should read if you're reviewing your intent statement as part of preparing for this new framework.


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